I live in a leafy suburb in Cape Town. It is quiet, it is safe. It is predictable. It is everything that Woodstock, Salt River, and Observatory are not. They are rough, they are brown, they are grey. They are dirty and industrial. But they have a strange beauty about them. The building walls are peppered with flyers advertising cheap abortions and penis enlargements (for a small fee you can also win the lottery and bring back a lost lover).
Every street corner has one of three things: a tuck shop, a hair salon, or an evangelical church. On Sundays, my suburb is tranquil; there are joggers and cyclists everywhere. In Woodstock, however, the corner churches are full, the Nigerian pastors deliver scorching sermons like Armageddon is around the corner; in Salt River the Cameroonian and Congolese barber shops are packed, you have to wait for an hour just to get a plain Number 2; and in Observatory the bars and clubs laugh at Helen Zille’s liquor laws.
Although the Woodstock-Observatory walk along Lower Main Road is not everyone’s idea of a relaxing Sunday stroll it is a good to take your camera for walkies and I would recommend it to anyone with a digital iris.